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Feeding dogs for life stages: older dogs

Feeding dogs for life stages: older dogs

Aging dogs are defined as older or geriatric when they have reached the last 25 percent of their expected life span:

  • Small-breed dogs greater than 12 years of age
  • Medium-breed dogs greater than 10 years of age
  • Large-breed dogs greater than 9 years of age
  • Giant-breed dogs greater than 7 years of age

Some signs of aging are described as:

  • Changes in body weight.
  • Difficulty in locomotion (movement).
  • Changes in hearing and/or eyesight.
  • Changes in skin and/or haircoat.
  • Changes in urine or bowel habits.
  • Bad breath associated with teeth or mouth problems.

Current commercial diets formulated for adult dogs at maintenance generally provide adequate protein. Less active animals may have reduced energy requirements, and caution should be used when feeding energy-dense diets to avoid the risk of excessive weight gain.

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